2003-03-20, Telstra Dome, Melbourne, Australia

The Rising Tour
War
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Notes

Appr. 2 hours, 50 minutes.
Bruce's first show in Australia with the E Street Band since 1985.
"Born in the USA" is the first solo acoustic version of the tour.

Eyewitness accounts

Were you there? Write about it!
1510
bkstreets49 wrote: ANDREW, I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU TELSTRA DOME IS NOT A GREAT VENUE FOR CONCERTS IN FACT IT TOTALLY SUKS, I WAS THERE ALSO,BRUCE PLAYED HIS HEART OUT AND IT WAS A GREAT NIGHT, BUT MOST OF THE CROWD WERE JUST NOT GETTING IT....LIKE WHEN STEVE WAS ASKING "WHAT TIME IS IT" I HEARD SOME PEOPLE NEAR ME ASK WHAT IS HE WAS ASKING, I THOUGHT TO MYSELF WHY ARE YOU PEOPLE EVEN HERE AND WHEN BROOOOOOCE WAS BEING CHANTED I HEARD THE QUESTION "WHY ARE THEY BOOING HIM" DER I WISH PEOPLE LIKE THAT WOULD STAY HOME AND LET THE TRUE FANS ENJOY THE CONCERT. I DO HOPE BRUCE COMES BACK TO AUSTRALIA AND WE CAN SHOW HIM THAT THERE ARE HEAPS OF TRUE FANS DOWN UNDER.

Carolyn wrote: I saw Bruce play the showgrounds in the 80's, a show of epic proportions that set my standard for a great rock set. How to open last night's show was always going to be tough. It was a different show from back then but it caught the mood of the crowd, who didn't seem to know whether it was ok to get into rock n roll given the events of the day. My highlights, Thunder Road without fail. I wanted to hear more , I couldn't believe it was over so soon. No songs from my favourite album, The Wild The Innocent.... Maybe I can still get a ticket to the Sydney show?? I hope it's not the last time we get to see Bruce and Miami Steve, they were awesome!!!! Do I sound like a schoolgirl fan still?? You bet!

Mikky Stardust wrote: Fantastic Bruce show. As previously mentionaed, i'd also like to bring attention to the fact that the god damn corporate shareholders of the company that owns the rights to the stadium got the primo seats. Fortunately Bruce had me on his side...I spent most of the night with security chasing me...because I was trying to get people to dance and generally 'rise up'.

He gave us Out in the Street, he gave us Thunder Road...HE GAVE US RAMROD FOR FUCKS SAKE!!!

There was nothing more disheartening than seeing a brilliant musician playing his guts out and having the most dismal of receptions [ie.by the cast of the telstra boardroom] in my own hometown... when Bruce says "thats pathetic" during the dismal crowd chant of "Waitin on a sunny day", joking or not... we have a problem.

You dont pay $152/$82 to sit down [or generally sway] for the most exhilirating of experiences. If this show was in another [non-corporate] forum, surely the crowd would have been ........ alive?

I even heard people say...he didn't even play Born in the USA!!! - check the setlist.

Brucey don't you lose heart. You did more for 4 blokes dressed in Dr. Zoom and Sonic Boom t-shirts than anything, anyone else.

Ian wrote: A great return to Melbourne after 18 years for the E-Streeters and 6 years for Bruce! An emotional and rivetting 3 hour show, top set list and a generally fanatical audience, despite some corporate types wasting space near the stage. Back where I watched the show every one had a ball! An emotional opening, with a powerful "Born In The USA", solo acoustic-slide, similar to the Tom Joad tour. On the day US and Australian troops began the offensive in Iraq the significance of the song was clear, and anyone left with doubts would have had them blown away when the band kicked in to a searing "War". The power and emotion didn't let up through "The Rising" and "Lonesome Day", a fast and thrilling "No Surrender" and "Prove It All Night", fresh and sounding almost like a newly written song.
The "Rising" songs were better in concert than their recorded versions, each one growing or gaining something live, and the band were energetic and intense. After a haunting "Into The Fire" and a brief, heart felt wish for the safety of US and Australian troops, as well as Iraqi civilians, it was party time, with the encores pushing the already enthralled audience to arm waving, fist pumping, hoarse voiced delirium. Bruce was bouncing around like an 18 year old, and although there were no long song intros or stories, the music said it all; intense, personal & emotional, lightened with a deft touch of goofy fun and party spirit. When it all wound up with a fast paced "Dancing In The Dark" and a bouncy, extended "Glory Days" no one could possibly have asked for more.
Come back soon Bruce!

Phil wrote: I was lucky enough to sit through the entire soundcheck in Melbourne, 1 of about 6 people only meters from the stage. I was struck by the 'family' atmosphere as they came on stage, each band member hugging each other as if they'd not seen each other for months! Bruce looked so lean and fit, not a day over 30! They soundchecked The Easybeats classic 'Friday On My Mind' but it didn't make the final setlist for some reason, it would have been a killer for the aussie fans! Shame.

I'm stilll smiling...............

Stevo wrote: Travelled down from Canberra and met my wife for a night (she flew in from Hobart). Only got to see each other once a month at that stage in our lives so what better way that at a Springsteen concert.... unfortunately I was left with a ticket waaaaaayyyyy back while I watched thousands of boring old farts in front of me sitting around doing sweet f.a. waiting for the glory days of BITUSA as if this was the only album the man ever released.... I wouldn't be surprised if the set list got changed on the hop to allow for this fact as well as we saw quite a few BITUSA songs come through near the end. My seat sucked, the crowd sucked, the stadium sound was atrocius but the band rocked hard trying to overcome all of these shortcomings with the venue and the 'fans'. I wish I had gone to Brisbane instead where it was a much smaller venue. All in all, always happy as to have been there, just want to make it to a Springsteen concert where I actually get up front (if you buy a ticket in the first minute in Australia you end up miles from the front - reserve seating sucks!). I remember my second back row seat during Tom Joad tour at Capitol Theatre in Sydney pissed me as well - thankfully, it was still way close compared to Docklands....

Review by a poor man who wants to be rich enough to view the King up close!

Andrew wrote: I thought the show was great, the Boss was fantastic, unfortunately most of the crowd around me were very subdued and rarely showed any emotion and didn't applause anything he did. The venue Telstra Dome is a crap venue and lots of times the sound of his voice was bouncing off the wall and was very irritating. I wished he played The River but not this time. Overall the show was great, the crowd disappointing and the venue for the show was pathetic, hope he comes back soon but NOT to this venue.

Peter D wrote: When you're lucky enough to get up close to the Boss and his disciples, you can't worry much about a bunch of stiffs around you masquerading as fans. So you watch and listen with intent, smelling the electricity as it literally burns off the stage. And you ignore the terrible acoustics in what is a God-forsaken and heartless stadium, breathing in the magic elixir, like the addict you are.

Yes, he was subdued at the start - an impending war will do that to those with a conscience - but when he warmed up, he was very good. Like you knew he would be.

You think the new stuff was 'freaky' good, especially with some eerie lighting. The classic stuff reminds you why you've got millions of little hairs running down your neck and into the deepest parts of your spine.

Can he still go? Is there a better sight in rock 'n roll today than a jacked-up Bruce, guitar strapped on tight and right hand working those strings like nobody's business? You know the answer.

Glenn wrote: The best day of my life. For three hours I was transported to a place of pure joy. From the opening chord of 'Born in the USA' to the close of 'Glory Days', my three friends and I were enthralled by the best band on the planet.

Of course, there are always songs you wish were played (they got Jungleland in Sydney!), but the mix of new songs and old could not have disappointed too many people.

The only thing that marred the show slightly was the corporate front-row seating. Some people don't realise that the band can only see a few rows out into the crowd because of the lights. Bruce wasn't too pleased because the only people he could see didn't seem to be enjoying themselves.

We saw the Tom Joad tour in 1997 and Bruce by himself was awesome and if I had never seen this show,that would have still been the highlight of my life.

I missed the Born in the USA tour in 1985 (too young to drive and too far from Melbourne), and so have spent the last eighteen years waiting and hoping that the full E Street experience would be mine to savor. I don't have to wait any more.

Thanks Bruce, Steve, Clarence, Roy, Danny, Max, Garry, Patti, Nils and Soozie. Come back soon.

AussieJohn wrote: Some valid comments here. I was very happy when AAMI park was announced as the venue in 2014 because the Telstra one lacked sound all the comments regarding the corporates taking the front were spot on.
It was a special night for me as I saved up and took my 2 daughters to see who makes me loves music, a memory I still treasure. Another happy moment was seeing the Bada Bing sign get a smile and laugh from Stevie and Bruce. At the time Sopranos was a cult show in Melbourne with show times all over the place.Musically LOHAD was a highlight for me that night.

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